Group Fitness vs. Personal Training Certifications???
I am starting a business teaching group fitness (specifically, but not limited to, teens), but I can't decide what certification I should get. Does group fitness certifications teach you as much about proper fitness as Personal Training Certs? I want to learn as much as possible about fitness without going back to college!
I'm not sure what your experience is as an instructor or a personal trainer, but if you are new to training then here is what I think (and it's only my opinion):
Unless you have some experience in training 1-on-1 or couples or small groups of people (3-5), I would first get into this business as a personal trainer and then progress to a fitness instructor (for the type of training you are looking to do). The reason is that 1-on-1 training will expose you to a number of different issues and types of clients and you can use this step as getting more experience and feel more comfortable with larger groups. You could use your time as a personal trainer to learn different exercise modifications when your clients need one due to an injury or some other issue. Once you feel more comfortable with training one client at a time you could then start training 2 or more at the same time and expand your knowledge and experience on you way to become a fitness instructor.
I don't know if this helps you with your question, but good luck with your new business :-)!
I hold both a personal trainer and a group fitness certification. I started teaching classes over 20 years ago when I was in college (my degrees are not in the health field). I learned so much more when I became a personal trainer, and it helped me in both areas.
If you are going to start out with one certification, I agree with Harris and my suggestion would be a personal training certification. This would lay the foundation for you with regard to understanding the movement of the body and how it functions during exercise. Then, you are are better able to transfer that knowledge to a group setting. Teaching group fitness is more about the dynamics of a group setting and while you will get some basic knowledge of physiology and anatomy, it is not as detailed.
Ideally, I think having both certifications is a plus. Teaching group fitness has gotten me new clients--and while training clients I have also introduced many to group fitness. Many pluses. It will also depend on where you want to work--you will need the specific type of certification for the job you wish to have. Good luck to you.
this is not a question of 'either / or'. Nor are they mutually exclusive. Nor does having a certification mean that you are at the end of all learning.
While there is of course a wide body of knowledge pertaining to fitness in general, the skills for group fitness vs. personal training are quite different. For example, a personal trainer working one-on-one has no need to worry about modifications for various fitness levels in classes.
Since you are planning to get into the business of group fitness, you obviously should have a certification in that specialty. However, since you plan to make that your business (and career?), you may want to contemplate over time to earn other credentials which may be additional certifications.
Will you own your own facility? If not, where will the classes be held? It is always helpful to figure out what the requirements are for positions you want to hold. Or if you are running your own show, what is the standard for insurance.
I agree with Karin that if you are going into group fitness to begin that is likely the first type of certification you want. There is nothing to stop you from branching out later.
Even if you do not want to go back to school, per se, you will be required to take CEC classes to maintain your certification, and you can use these to give you a greater knowledge base if you want to start to work with individuals as well as groups as you move forward.
Thanks for the info!
To answer your question if GFI teaches as much as PT...the personal trainer course will teach you more about kinesiology. The GFI will teach you more about instruction styles for the group setting.
I am glad I studied for personal trainer first, then the health coach and group fitness instructor third. They all complement each other, but the personal trainer lays down the foundation.
Good luck to you.
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